Gonorrhea reinfection among sexually transmitted disease clinic attendees in Baltimore, Maryland

Sex Transm Dis. 2006 Feb;33(2):80-6. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000187233.53622.8a.


Objectives: We hypothesized that an active follow-up program to assess for reinfection after gonorrhea treatment could be a useful disease control strategy.

Goal: We evaluated an active follow-up and repeat testing program for all Baltimore sexually transmitted disease clinic patients diagnosed with gonorrhea.

Study design: From September 2003 to May 2004, all clients with a treated gonorrhea infection were advised to return 3 months later for repeat testing. If clients did not return as scheduled, field outreach was attempted. At follow-up visits, urine was tested for gonorrhea and consenting participants completed a behavioral survey. In addition, we reviewed morbidity records for any intercurrent gonorrhea infections reported during the project period.

Results: Of the 667 participants diagnosed with gonorrhea at baseline, 54 had a gonorrhea reinfection diagnosed for an incidence of 13.8 per 100 person-years. One hundred seventy-eight (27%) either presented for a follow-up visit or were located through field efforts, and of these, 5 (2.8%) had gonorrhea detected on follow-up urine testing. No measured factors had predictive value in identifying gonorrhea reinfection.

Conclusions: Although reinfection rates were high, we found that field staff intervention to increase follow-up testing rates did not identify a significant amount of repeat infections compared with passive surveillance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Program Evaluation
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Urine / microbiology